The Extroverted-Introvert:
Taking Your Brand On the Road. How to Talk About Your Books & Brand With Readers & Peers When the Last Thing You Want to Do Is Talk About Yourself!
My name is Rachel Rawlings, author of urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, and founder of HallowRead Book Festival. Over the last four and a half years, I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the brightest authors in our industry. Some are more outgoing than others. As an author, I have a unique perspective into the psyche of an extroverted-introvert because I am one. Once I get to know you, the extrovert comes out, but how does an introvert get to know other people? Ahh, therein lies the problem. Let’s delve a little deeper and help ease those meet and greet fears with a few helpful tips.
1)Do Introduce Yourself to Your Tablemate or Neighbor.
Some of the best relationships start with a simple “Hello, my name is…”
2)Don’t Stack Your Books High Enough to Shield You From The Oncoming Horde of Hungry Readers.
A friendly smile is the best lure to hook a new reader.
3)Don’t Get Distracted With Social Media.
Uncomfortable silences or awkward social situations make it easy to reach for the comfort of social media, grabbing our phones and swiping away at the small screen of familiar yet isolated interaction.
4)Do Have A Bowl of Candy.
No greater ice-breaker out there at an author’s table than a bowl of sweet confection! Chocolate, caramel, sweet tart? It doesn’t matter. People can’t help themselves and many a book have been sold over a bowl over Hershey’s Kisses.
5)Don’t Be Afraid.
Easier said than done, right? Trust me, I feel your pain. When I first began taking my brand on the road, I hated talking about myself. Still do, in fact. But, with each one it gets a little easier and I have made long lasting friendships and connections that are far too invaluable in our industry to stay comfortably hidden in my corner.
6)Do Use Your Brand Or Pen Name As A Persona.
Sometimes, when we are most uncomfortable putting ourselves out there, our pen names or author persona offers us an opportunity to pretend we’re the confident kick-ass heroine we write about. Your books are your brand and your brand is your books – no one is going to sell them like you are.
7)Do Have An Elevator Pitch.
At any event or the moment someone discovers you’re an author, they’ll ask you what your books are about. This was something I learned at an event I attended earlier this year for Indie Author Day. That’s right, I’m still learning too. I didn’t really think I had a pitch and even today I feel myself freeze up when someone asks me what my books are about.
My brain seizes, leaving me with little more than a response of “it has words in it”. When we began talking about ad copy, someone shouted out “Hey, you do have an elevator pitch!” And then it hit me, this was the answer I should have been giving! Short and to the point that represented my brand and my books. After all, they’re asking you to plug your work to market yourself. They want to know!
8)Do Attend The Other Panels And Workshops Whenever Possible At A Festival Or Convention.
You never know who you’ll meet in the crowd and being in the audience can often make it easier to connect with readers or other authors without feeling the heat of the spotlight.
9)Don’t Listen to The Little Voice Talking You Out of Things.
Okay, if the little voice is talking you out of a bank robbery, you should probably listen. But, if your little voice is anything like my little voice it’s probably talking you out of attending a convention or talking about who you are and what you do for fear someone will think you’re a hack. Guess what? They won’t.
Our community is filled with an amazing group of individuals writing their own story, quelled with the same fears you and I have. We’re all introverts by nature. It’s probably why we write. But, put us all in one place together and it’s a lot easier to be extroverted. You’re among your people. Enjoy it.
Author Bio:
Rachel Rawlings was born and raised in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Her family, originally from Rhode Island, spent summers in New England sparking her fascination with Salem, MA. She has been writing fictional stories and poems since middle school, but it wasn’t until 2009 that she found the inspiration to create her heroine Maurin Kincaide and complete her first full length novel, The Morrigna.
When she isn’t writing paranormal romance, psychic romance suspense or about her psychic detective, Rachel can often be found with her nose buried in a good book. An avid reader of Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Horror and Steampunk herself, Rachel founded HallowRead- a non-profit interactive convention for both authors and fans of those genres which raises funds for literacy and the literary arts. More information on HallowRead, its schedule of events and participating authors can be found at and She still lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.
Contacts: Twiiter: @rachelsbooks Instagram: @rachelsbooks